Unemployment is falling in the construction sector, with 25,000 jobs added in May to meet growing demand, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).
“Demand for construction workers remains strong, outside of homebuilding,” Ken Simonson, AGC’s chief economist, said in a statement on June 2. “Contractors continue to report their primary challenge is finding qualified workers, not finding projects or most materials.”
Construction employment for May was 7,928,000, up 0.3% from the prior month, and rising 2.5% from 7,736,000 in May 2022. Most of the increase occurred in the nonresidential sector – including nonresidential building and specialty trade contractors, along with heavy and civil engineering construction firms, with 22,100 employees being added, while only 2,500 were added to residential building, AGC said. Over the past 12 months, construction jobs have increased by 192,000.
AGC said that the unemployment rate among jobseekers with construction experience declined from 3.8% in May 2022 to 3.5%, “the second-lowest May rate in the 23-year history of the data.”
Though firms are still struggling to fill positions, the AGC noted that firms are taking action, like increasing pay, to recruit employees. “Construction demand is strong, firms are looking to hire, and federal officials are investing billions in construction and infrastructure,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, AGC’s CEO.
Pay levels in the industry jumped significantly for production and nonsupervisory positions, which covers most onsite workers and office workers. The year-over-year increase gives workers a 6% hike to $34.07 per hour, compared to $32.15 in May 2022, AGC said. Firms paid a “premium” of almost 19% compared to the average rate of all private-sector employees.
By Becca Moczygemba, firstname.lastname@example.org
Becca MoczygembaRead more from Becca Moczygemba
Latest in Steel Markets
Register for Oct. 4 Community Chat With AGC chief economist Ken Simonson
Ken Simonson, chief economist for The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), will be the featured speaker on the next SMU Community Chat webinar on Wednesday, Oct. 4, at 11 a.m. ET. The live webinar is free. A recording will be available free to SMU members. You can register here. We’ll talk about the outlook […]
UAW Workers Strike Parts Supplier ZF’s Plant in Alabama
United Auto Workers (UAW) union members in Alabama at a parts supplier to Mercedes-Benz have gone on strike.
BREAKING NEWS: Ford, Unifor Reach Tentative Labor Deal in Canada
Ford's Canadian subsidiary and auto workers represented by Unifor - roughly the Canadian equivalent of the UAW - have reached a new, tentative labor agreement.
UAW Set to Expand Strike on Friday if New Deal Not Reached
United Auto Workers (UAW) union president Shawn Fain has announced a new deadline of Friday, Sept. 22, at noon, at which point the union could expand its strike.
UAW Begins ‘Stand Up’ Strike at Ford, GM, and Stellantis
The United Auto Workers (UAW) launched its “stand up” strike just after midnight on Friday, according to posts on the union’s Facebook page. “We are the union! The mighty, mighty union,” UAW members with “On Strike” signs chanted in a video posted to the site. The move came after union president Shawn Fain suggested that […]